MONEY awarded for a new splash pad in Blaenau Gwent is to be used to upgrade several play areas across the county borough after the project was ditched.

Ebbw Vale’s Festival Park was chosen as the desired site for the facility last year, despite calls for it to be provided at Parc Bryn Bach in Tredegar.

But the owners of Festival Park, who planned the splash pad as part of a redevelopment of the site, are no longer able to take forward the plans, a council report says.

The £110,000 originally intended for the facility will now be used on buying and installing new play equipment across seven parks in Blaenau Gwent.

Parks to benefit are Parc Bryn Bach in Tredegar; Banna Park, Nantyglo; Duffryn Park, Blaina; Gelli Grug Park, Abertillery; Brynmawr Welfare Park; Warm Turn play area, Abertillery, and New Rassau Park, Ebbw Vale.


A report backed by the council’s community services scrutiny committee on Monday also lists 21 play areas which will be considered for closure, following a review in 2018 which found they have “reached their economic and play value life-span”.

Cllr Jonathan Millard said it was “bitter-sweet” news.

“I welcome that we are going to be having some improvements at some of these sites,” he said.

“But there will be some that will unfortunately be closing at the end of this process and that will be a loss for the borough and the children of the borough.”

Cllr Hedley McCarthy said further consultation should be carried out before play areas are closed.

“There are closures in some areas which would mean children would have to cross a busy, main road to get to their nearest playground,” he said.

Council officer Dave Watkins said there was an “extensive consultation” in 2018 over the issue, and that ward councillors will again be consulted on the options for each site.

Cllr Lisa Winnett said councillors had asked officers to engage with Parc Bryn Bach about having a splash pad there more than a year ago.

Mr Watkins said there had been “major dialogue” about the possibility - but he said estimated costs of £250,000 to locate the facility there exceeded the funding available.